Six position players and no less than thirteen pitchers qualified as rookies on the 2016 Arizona Diamondbacks. We want to winnow that list down to five or six of the best qualified candidates, so below you will find the stats for both groups of players. They’re listed in alphabetical order since you were wondering.
2016 D-backs rookies (position players)
2016 D-backs rookies (pitchers)
It has to be said, this was not exactly a golden season for the Diamondbacks prospects. These 19 players between them were worth a total of... [drum-roll, please] 0.4 wins above replacement, by the B-R version of the metric. And that was relatively kind, compared to the Fangraphs take, which had them all worth one-tenth of a win below replacement. The position player side was particular rough, at -1.0/-0.6 WAR respectively, while the pitchers were at least positive, tallying a total of 1.4/0.5 WAR combined. It may not actually be possible to find five players here that are worth nominating, so if you want to limit your selections to fewer than that, you won’t hear any complaints from this corner.
This does, however, perhaps portend a dark cloud on the horizon, which is the currently relatively barren nature of the Diamondbacks’ farm system. While it’s obviously wrong to expect every rookie to come up and dominate the league immediately, when you pull up close to twenty of them, and their combined production is close to zero, that seems legitimate cause for concern. It’s perhaps less a concern on the position player front, where most of our spots are currently under team control for at least a couple more seasons. But it’s the pitching - and starting pitching in particular - where the team is in most need of improvement. If we don’t get improvement from the likes of Shelby Miller, Robbie Ray and new guy Taijuan Walker, the next few years might be dark ones.
Anyway, use the comments to pick however many of the above you feel deserve to be nominated, and I’ll fold them in with my own thoughts, for the formal poll which will be up on Wednesday,